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Kaumakaiwa & Kulaiwi - Native Lands

Pacific Roots
Photos: Ku'ehu Mauga, Ethan Jung, 
Eric Morgensen

& Kulaiwi – Native Lands

contemporary music & hula of indigenous Hawai‘i

“[Kaumakaiwa]… vaulted through various registers and timbres, from bass to witchy contralto rasp to sweet soprano (“skinny girl” voice, [she] said), a traditionalist tour de force.” –NY Times

Kulāiwi –  Hawai‘i’s Group of the Year & Hawaiian Group of the Year

A riveting performer, Kaumakaiwa creates some of the most original work to emerge in contemporary Hawaiian music, drawing from ancestral memory and hula practice as chant transforms to melody. Kaumakaiwa seamlessly melds Hawaiian culture and modern sensibilities in deeply powerful music. A modern Hawaiian, she is a vibrant keeper of culture, and at the same time, an authentic innovator. 

 Kaumakaiwa’s long-time guitarist Shawn Pimental, an award-winning musician in his own right, joined with two of Hawai‘i’s leading music performers — Lehua Kalima (of Na Leo) and Kawika Kahiapo, and hula practitioner Pono Fernandez – to form Kulāiwi, creating music drawn from their Native Hawaiian roots. With soaring vocals, island harmonies and a folk vibe, accompanied by an easy-going charm, Kulāiwi [“land of my ancestors”] is committed to the stories of Hawai’i revealed through songs embedded with Hawaiian values, perspectives, and ways of being in the world. Their debut CD release Native Lands earned them 4 Nā Hōkū wins (Hawai‘i’s music awards), including top honors as Group of the Year.

Together, Kaumakaiwa and Kulāiwi share prodigious talents as performers, songwriters and composers, engaging indigenous thought to address today’s issues through music, chant, and sharing of spirit. Their original songs are inspired by diverse musical styles and a passionate commitment to Hawai‘i. They reflect a growing population of Native Hawaiian speakers, whose pride in their roots provides strength and grounding, and empowers their responsibility as protectors of land and culture.


Tour Schedule



Past Tour Dates


Kaumakaiwa and Shawn Pimental

Fri, Jan 31, 2020, Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Bucknell University, Lewisberg PA

Sat, Feb 1, 2020, Patterson Theater, Baltimore MD
Presented by Creative Alliance at the Patterson

Sun, Feb 2, 2020, Joe’s Pub, New York NY

Tues, Feb 4 & Wed, Feb 5, 2020, The Fredericton Playhouse, Fredericton, New Brunswick CANADA

Fri, Feb 7, 2020, First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, St Catherine’s, Ontario CANADA

Sun, Feb 9, Club Passim, Cambridge MA

With Shawn Pimental and Waipuna

Wed, Feb 12, 2020, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley CA

2019-  with Shawn Pimental

Sunday, Oct 6, 2019,  Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival, Gisborne NZ
Under An East Coast Moon at the Soundshell, Turanga

This engagement was generously supported by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Wed, May 8, 2019, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank VIC, Australia

Fri, Jan 25, 2019, Discovery Theatre, Anchorage AK

Sun, Jan 27, 2019, The Cultch, Vancouver BC Canada

2018 – with Shawn Pimental

Fri, Jan 12, 2018, APAP Opening Plenary, NY Hilton Midtown, New York City NY

Sun, Jan 14, 2018, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago IL

Mon, Jan 15, 2018, Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, Minneapolis MN

Wed, Jan 17, 2018, Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Merced CA

Sun, Feb 18 – Sat, Feb 24 – APAM Events, New Farm, QLD, AU

Wed, Sept 26, 2018, Harris Center for the Arts, Folsom CA

Fri & Sat, Sept 28 & 29, 2018, Lotus World Music & Arts Festival, Bloomington IN

Mon, Oct 1, 2018, City Winery NYC, New York NY
Presented by CEG&T Presents

Sat, Oct 6, 2018, Boston University Global Music Festival, Boston MA

Fri, Nov 2, 2018, Wailuku First Friday, Wailuku HI

Sat, Nov 3, 2018, “Because of You, Honoring Clay Sutherland” Fundraiser, Maui Brewing Company, Kihei HI